Now that we have gone through every edition of our “Dancing with the Stars” spotlight series, we have now come to another key moment: tying to figure out just where all of these contenders are going to end up placing on the season. For our predictions, we are really looking at a few key factors (just in case you are interested in our criteria):
1. How well did they fare on their original season?
2. How big of a fan following do they have that is loyal?
3. How much time in the ballroom have they actually spend since their season aired?
With all of this in mind, we present to you our official predictions, and we will of course by tracking this progress and changing up our rankings all season long. Do you agree? Disagree? Be sure to stick around to the bottom of this article to share your thoughts!
13. Pamela Anderson (season 10) and Tristan MacManus – She didn’t do that well in her original season, and it was largely because the people that were watching her on “Baywatch” are not the same people watching her in the ballroom. She is either going to have to be a frontrunner in dance, or she will be out of her fast. Remember, it’s also not like she has been in the spotlight 24/7 since her season aired.
12. Bristol Palin (season 11) and Mark Ballas – We give Bristol a week based mostly on the fact that she does still have the loyal GOP following thanks to her mom. However, Sarah’s not the force she was two years ago, and if Bristol can’t stay on the air for a Lifetime reality show, how can she survive a ballroom competition for long when she is not the best dancer?
11. Helio Castroneves (season 5) and Chelsie Hightower – Any one of the guys could actually stay for a while, but the reason we have the least amount of confidence in Helio is simple: he doesn’t have the Julianne Hough hype. Chelsie is a great dancer, but Helio was not actually the best of his season. He just had the right story at the right time, and was pretty likable and funny to boot.
10. Melissa Rycroft (season 8) and Tony Dovolani – To be honest, it would not stun us at all if Melissa is the first one out. She is not that popular anymore, and was really on the show the first time thanks to circumstances. Her one saving grace? That she is a pretty great dancer, but she is up against a number of other people this time with the same attributes.
9. Kelly Monaco (season 1) and Val Chmerkovskiy – Yes she won the first-ever edition of this show. But, you also have to remember that the first edition of this show was so long ago, and not everyone who watched then watches now … and she may not have won if the public had been allowed to vote. As a matter of fact, a special after the fact pretty much proved this very thing.
8. Emmitt Smith (season 3) and Cheryl Burke – There’s no question that being an NFL star gets you far, especially when said NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys. However, we don’t think Emmitt (who wasn’t the best dancer in his own season) is going to be better than a number of people who were on the show more recently.
7. Joey Fatone (season 4) and Kym Johnson – We know that Joey has been dancing with the Las Vegas show and in many ways that should help him be rather great here. However, we still don’t know what kind of fan following is out there for a guy who has been quiet in recent years, and we don’t know if he has the same sort of killer instinct necessary for something like this.
6. Kirstie Alley (season 12) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – We really think that a few dancers who get eliminated earlier than Kirstie will probably be better, but the actress has kept in ballroom shape and rehearses semi-regularly even without this show helping her. Maks also has his devoted fans even past the Hope Solo controversy, so we expect to see these two keep their crazy chemistry going for at least the first month and a half of the season.
5. Gilles Marini (season 8) and Peta Murgatroyd – Our guess for Gilles? He will have an off night, and get punished because of it thanks to all of the strong competition that there is on the show this season. As good as he is, you’ve also probably not heard of him as of late unless you watch either “Brothers & Sisters” or “Switched at Birth.”
4. Sabrina Bryan (season 5) and Louis van Amstel – Given the way in which Sabrina went out last season, we don’t think it will happen again early on. She’ll be more motivated than ever, and she has also been a part of the Vegas show and has the extra practice. In putting this all together, she and Louis should go very far, even if her chances at winning are slim due to a somewhat-limited fan base.
3. Drew Lachey (season 2) and Anna Trebunskaya – The problem Drew faces is no matter how good of a freestyle he gives this season, it won’t be as good as what he did with Cheryl Burke in season 2. Drew is one of the show’s best winners ever, but we think the show will take a toll on him this time; after all, it has been over 12 seasons.
2. Shawn Johnson (season 8) and Derek Hough – It’s pretty hard to go against Derek, and for a long time we even pegged him and Shawn at #1 thanks to their ability coupled with the recent surge in gymnastics’ popularity at the Olympics. The problem? Shawn was not at the Olympics, and she was a controversial winner over Gilles the first time around.
1. Apolo Anton Ohno (season 4) and Karina Smirnoff – We’re going out on a limb here, mostly because we don’t think that Apolo has it in him to quit. He may not be the most accomplished dancer going into this season, but he has that perfect combination of likability, skill, and also dedication to pull this off with Karina. With this, we’re calling that Apolo is going to have another Mirrorball Trophy to go with his many gold medals.
So who do you have at #1? We want to hear from you! If you do want to go back and look at our individual spotlight articles, you can do so by visiting the link here.